Social Networking and Arcosanti

What I cherish from my time at Arcosanti was that I had the chance to meet many remarkable and talented people.

This included the Paradox III conference which I had participated in at Arcosanti before leaving in 2001. This opened up for me a vast network of people who have devoted their lives to put forward a paradigm shift in how humanity sees reality and also exists within that reality

Just recently two pieces of news brought back to life this idea that each of us has a story to tell in relation to the people that we meet on our paths through life.

Many of the people I have met and had the experiences that expanded consciousness as a result of all that would not have existed if Arcosanti did not come into my life.

This makes me wonder whether the real value of who we are and what do as human beings is not about us, but how we use (as well as appreciate and value) our social networks.

Jade Sylvan is one of these people who I also become aware of from former Cosanti Foundation board member Michael Gosney. He mentioned that she was on tour and wanted to visit Arcosanti. We were able to schedule things so that she could share her music and poetry with the people of Arcosanti Arizona on a tour through the SW.

One of the interesting things for me in my experiences of getting to know her and what she does is how she has successfully used social networking tools to create a career for herself as an “indie” entertainer – avoiding much of the BS one would have to go through doing it the old conventional way.

She is now working in a lead role on an unique indie film called Ten by Michael J Epstein and Sophia Cacciola that was featured as’s project of the day. Approximately 1/3 of the production money was funded through the peer-to-peer social enterprise funding site (see the page for the film at Kickstarter). The film has an all woman cast that focuses on the 1972 Spektor Island Masscare.

Porcelain Dalya in the movie Ten

Possibly the most interesting aspect of the movie is that it is all women and that enables us to consider the plot as we watch it in a different way…

More about the movie is below:

TEN is a collectivist, post-exploitation psychological thriller devised as a possible explanation for the events of the 1972 Spektor Island Massacre. On a cold December afternoon, ten women arrive at a mansion on Spektor Island, famed for years of reported hauntings and strange activities. Will they live through the night?

The all-female cast film is a response to exploitation, slasher, and thriller films, with particular focus on the kind of storytelling prominent in b-movies and genre films from the 1950s to the 1980s. It explores the meaning and fluidity of identity and takes a number of surprising turns, paying homage to filmmakers and producers such as Alfred Hitchcock, Roger Corman, John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Jim Wynorski, Jean Rollin, Lloyd Kaufman, and Andy Sidaris.

The film was conceived by Sarah Wait Zaranek, Michael J. Epstein, and Sophia Cacciola as a two-minute trailer for the 2012 Brattle Theatre Trailer Smackdown. After selection as a “curator’s choice” at the Smackdown, several of the people involved considered turning the story into a feature. Michael J. Epstein and Sophia Cacciola decided to look at the possibility of making TEN their first feature film. A successful Kickstarter campaign with 258 backers raised a portion of the budget for the production and the pair went full-force into rapid pre-production, working with Jade Sylvan and trailer collaborator Sarah Zaranek to generate a full screenplay treatment and full cast in less than a month. Principal shooting took place in December 2012 with expected festival release in 2013 and wider release in 2014.


This morning I read an article CNet posted about the untold story about Apple’s first operating system (and the first PC disc operating system) was developed for 13k. Apparently Steve Wozinak had just developed a low cost way for holding and transferring data on a disc drive so that it would be affordable to install Hard Drive on personal computers. Before that they had to use tape drives which was not really efficient for personal computing. The only problem was that Apple did not have operating system for this hardware and did not have the skills in house to do it. So they paid 13,000 to another company to complete the software…and the rest is history.

The article was based on paper work and correspondence about this key development that propelled humanity into the age of personal computers. Cyber personality and consultant Bruce Damer has been collecting computers and other materials for about 20 years now at the DigiBarn. I first saw him speak at Arcosanti in 2001 as part of the Paradox III event organized by Michael Gosney, Tomiaki Tomura and Ron Anastasia. His presentation focused on his book about avatars.

The article also mentioned John “Capt Crunch” Draper and his role in the start up of Apple Computers.  I remember meeting Capt Crunch at the film maker Allan Lundell’s house who is good friends with Damer and co-founder of DigiBarn. At the time, I did not grasp the reality that this person is a legend in the computing world almost on the level of Steve Wozinak and Doug Engelbart. When I met Cap’t Crunch he was working with Dr Dre/Beats Audio as a “start up.”

In sum it was just a piece of a remarkable coming together – a Synchronicity of people and ideas that came together during my time in the Bay Area.

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